Keeping up with this globalized world can be a full time occupation in today’s fiercely competitive corporate ecosphere. You hear a million different languages just by walking down the streets of a mega metropolis like New York City. With a strong similarity in structure to Spanish and often confused with Russian, Portuguese is not such an easy language to learn. But with Brazil on the podium with the world economy leaders, and the two big events ahead, Portuguese is turning out a common language these days. That doesn’t mean it is only spoken by native Brazilians. Crisithiane Vieira Rozenblit is making sure that Portuguese is an easy access language to any one who wants to learn it, especially to Americans who do business with Brazil.
The school Brazil Ahead started six years ago and is already establishing itself as the go-to place for someone looking for Portuguese classes in New York City. The idea came at ease to a person who already had a back round of teaching English in Brazil, like Cristhiane had.
The school is for the most time an education center geared to all things Brazil, and joins the constantly improving schools of languages such as Berlitz and Rosetta Stone, hovering just below their popularity since the business is so young. But the company is growing exponentially with events like the World Cup and the Olympics right around the corner. Cristhiane deserves that because she’s pulled off her most meaningful trick yet: a place to celebrate the joy and spirit of Brazilian culture.
She came to the US looking to change careers and rethink her life. Her initial intent was to study marketing at FIT, but while she was busy planning things, faith brought her back to her roots when she started teaching Portuguese in New York as a way to pay her bills. Word of mouth proves itself with Brazil Ahead, when suddenly the number of private students was so big, that was worthy the start of a new business. The school offers classes to American people who are looking to learn Portuguese, and to kids of all ages who live in the US and have English as their first language. The New York branch is located on Lexigton Ave (between 42nd and 41st Streets) employing 14 people and has over 300 students at this point.
Last year, Brazil Ahead opened a branch in Westchester, NY and is already planning new branches for Connecticut and other areas outside New York City. From a personal perspective as a Brazilian married to an American, I find myself in a confounded state of confusion when I see myself speaking in Portuguese to my kids only to have them answer me back in English. And while they understand it perfectly, and speak Portuguese with their Brazilian grandparents (my parents, who live in Brazil), they don’t know how to read or write in Portuguese. Adding to this state of disorder, is my own mix of languages on the very same phrase, as if I could switch from one language to the other in a matter of seconds. Well, my brain sometimes delays my thought process, and the result is often two languages on the very same phrase. Example: “Não é fair”. or “Hoje tenho um apontamento.” Or “Estou parqueando o carro.” The surprising fact, is that I often get the sense that I was understood. Cristhiane, who lives in New Jersey and commutes to Manhattan, falls into a state of languages one degree even more complex: three languages in the mix. She recently married an Israeli man and the couple has a son, Uri, who is tri-lingual: Portuguese from the mother, Hebrew from the father, and English at school. Watch Uri’s video here.
It is no coincidence that Brazilians like myself are looking to connect our kids with stronger roots of our native culture and have turned our attention to places like Brazil Ahead. By going back to our own culture, we are surely leading the way to a better future for our kids, and for our country too.
If you’d like to bring Brazil Ahead to your area, feel free to get in touch with Cristhiane.
380 Lexigton Ave, 17th Floor (Between 42nd and 41st Street)
New York, NY 10168
Tel (646) 567-7133